AED, being an abbreviation for automated external defibrillator, is a device which enables special type of electrical shocks to one's heart, saving this person from death during cardiac arrests and other sudden heart problems.
Due to the fact that anyone can use these devices in order to save lives, AEDs are installed in numerous public places such as schools, public transportation stations, private homes etc. An AED is more effective than the commonly used CPR technique and have saved countless number of people in need, holding great promise when it comes to future. Even though many AED devices will never be used, their presence in places where there is a large number of people present daily can be a great prevention of tragic events. Therefore, the more AEDs we have in public, the safer we are and more lives are guaranteed to be saved.
Characteristics of AEDs
There are many types of these devices, being produced by numerous companies like Phillips, Medtronic, Heartsine and others. All these devices are lightweight and easy to use, being completely portable and coming with basic, straightforward instructions. In cases of emergency, all a bystander needs to do is to grab a nearby AED, follow the instructions and say “clear” before this automated device can emit shocks to the heart of the victim, bringing him/her back to life. Moreover, most instructions come prerecorded on the AED itself, being played upon usage. Thus, basically, you need no training before using and AED for humane purposes. Nevertheless, basic training can definitely prevent any misuse or malfunctioning of the device.
Purchasing an AED
Before you buy this device, you need to know what purpose it will serve. Some AED devices are stored away until they are used, while others are carried by health professionals and used during interventions. Also, if you are planning on using an AED in schools, or on children, it is best to purchase a type of device made for pediatric usage. Most companies create children and adult models of AEDs separately since the level of shock a young and adult heart can sustain is not the same. Alternative, you may opt for an adjustable device, lowering the levels of shocks delivered during intervention.
As for the size and the price, many people believe that these devices are large and bulky, even though this is not the case. Most of the larger models are meant for hospital uses and, since these will not be moved around, their size is not the issue. On the other hand, mobile AED devices are small and compact. The price of an average AED ranges from $1,200 and above, even though there are cheaper models which can even go under $1,000.
All in all, do not forget that the main purpose of these devices is saving lives. Therefore, make sure you are in possession of a high-quality, easy-to-use device and that the people who are likely to use it are well trained.